How to Choose the Best Ground Cover Plants for Your Garden

You’ve been dreaming of transforming your garden into a lush, green paradise. But with so many options out there, where do you even begin? The answer is simple: ground cover plants.

Not only do they add texture and color to your garden, but they also help control weeds and erosion. But before you start digging in the dirt, hold on just a moment.

Choosing the right ground cover plants for your garden can make all the difference in achieving that perfect look you’ve been envisioning. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of selecting and caring for the best ground cover plants for your garden’s needs.

So put on your gardening gloves and get ready to transform your space into an oasis you’ll never want to leave.

Consider Your Garden’s Needs

Before you start planting, take a moment to think about what your garden really needs. You’ll want to consider both the amount of sun and shade it receives, as well as the type of soil in your garden. These are important factors when choosing ground cover plants that will thrive in your particular environment.

If your garden is mostly shaded, you’ll want to look for low-maintenance ground cover options such as ferns or hostas. These types of plants don’t require much sunlight and can add a lush greenery to any area.

On the other hand, if your garden gets plenty of sun, you might consider more colorful options like creeping thyme or purple ajuga.

Another consideration when choosing ground cover plants is the type of soil in your garden. Some plants prefer moist, well-draining soils while others can tolerate dry or sandy conditions. Take note of these soil preferences when selecting which ground covers will work best for your space.

With these sun and shade and soil type considerations in mind, it’s time to research different types of ground cover plants that fit those needs. By taking a thoughtful approach to selecting the right plant varieties for your garden’s unique conditions, you’ll be sure to enjoy a beautiful landscape all year round.

Research Different Types of Ground Cover Plants

So, you’re looking for some ground cover plants to add to your garden? Well, there are a few things you should know before making your final decision.

For starters, there are low-growing plants that hug the ground and create a dense mat. Then there are spreading plants that can quickly cover large areas.

And let’s not forget about flowering plants that can add pops of color to your landscape or evergreen plants that provide year-round coverage. So, which type will best suit your needs?

Low-Growing Plants

Lush, lovely low-growing plants make for a perfect pick to pretty up your yard. With so many options available in the market, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your garden.

Here are three factors to consider when picking low-growing ground cover plants:

1. Benefits of low-growing plants: These types of plants are perfect for filling in gaps and spaces between larger shrubs and trees, creating a cohesive look in your garden. They also help suppress weed growth, which means less maintenance work for you! Additionally, low-growing plants can provide protection against soil erosion and create a cooler microclimate by reducing evaporation.

2. Challenges with low-growing plants: While they may seem like an easy choice, there are some challenges to keep in mind when choosing these types of ground covers. For example, some varieties require frequent trimming or mowing to maintain their size and shape – which could add extra work to your lawn care routine. Another challenge is their limited height; if you have large areas that need coverage quickly, they may not be suitable as it will take time for them to spread out.

3. Aesthetic appeal: Low-growing ground covers come in various colors and textures that can enhance the overall aesthetic of your garden space. From delicate flowers to lush foliage, there’s something for every style preference.

Now that you understand the benefits and challenges associated with selecting low-growing ground covers, let’s explore other options, such as spreading plant varieties that can cover large areas effectively without requiring much maintenance!

Spreading Plants

Imagine your garden covered in a lush carpet of spreading plants, effortlessly filling in large areas with their vibrant colors and textures. Spreading plants are perfect for covering bare ground or creating an attractive border around your garden beds. They can be propagated by seed, cuttings, division, or layering.

Some popular options include creeping thyme, sedum, ajuga, and creeping phlox. To ensure that your spreading plants thrive in your garden, it’s important to choose the right location and provide proper maintenance. Most spreading plants prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.

Regular watering is essential during the first year of growth to encourage strong root development. Afterward, you can reduce watering frequency but make sure not to let the soil dry out completely. Deadheading spent blooms will help promote new growth and prevent self-seeding.

As you transition into learning about flowering plants for your garden, just remember that choosing the right ground cover is essential for maintaining a healthy landscape.

Flowering Plants

Don’t settle for a dull and lifeless landscape – add some personality with colorful blooms! Flowering plants are the perfect addition to any garden, providing bursts of vibrant colors that will make your outdoor space come alive. Not only do they add aesthetic value, but they also attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Here are four pollinator-friendly options for flowering ground cover plants:

1. Creeping Phlox: This low-growing plant produces beautiful clusters of pink, purple, blue, or white flowers in the spring. It’s easy to maintain and spreads quickly to cover large areas.

2. Catmint: This drought-tolerant plant is perfect for hot and dry climates. Its lavender-blue flowers bloom from summer through fall, and it attracts bees and butterflies.

3. Sedum: This succulent ground cover has thick leaves that store water, making it ideal for dry conditions. The star-shaped flowers bloom in late summer or early fall in shades of pink, red, or yellow.

4. Sweet Alyssum: This fragrant plant produces masses of tiny white or pink flowers in the spring and summer months. It attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies while adding a delicate touch to your garden.

As much as you may love these flowering plants, it’s important to remember that not all plants keep their leaves year-round. That is why evergreen plants are a great option for your garden too!

Evergreen Plants

Now that you know about flowering ground cover plants, it’s time to explore evergreen options. These plants are perfect for adding year-round greenery to your garden and require minimal maintenance compared to their deciduous counterparts. Plus, they provide excellent ground cover even in shady areas.

When choosing evergreen ground covers, consider shade tolerant options like Ajuga or Vinca minor. Both of these plants can thrive in low light conditions and will add a splash of color with their purple or blue flowers. Other low-maintenance options include Pachysandra and Liriope, which have lush foliage that stays green throughout the year.

Remember to choose plants that match your garden’s needs, whether it’s adding color to a sunny area or filling in a shady spot. By selecting the right plants for your space, you’ll ensure a beautiful and healthy garden that requires minimal upkeep.

Choose Plants that Match Your Garden’s Needs

To ensure your garden flourishes, you need to match the ground cover plants with its unique needs. One of the most important factors to consider when selecting plants is your garden’s soil type. Some ground covers thrive in clay soils while others prefer sandy or loamy soils. Make sure you choose a plant that can tolerate the pH and nutrient levels of your soil.

Sun exposure is another key factor to consider when choosing ground cover plants. Some varieties require full sun, while others prefer partial or full shade. Be sure to take note of how much sunlight your garden receives throughout the day so you can select a plant that will thrive in those conditions.

Water requirements and maintenance level are also crucial elements to think about when selecting ground cover plants for your garden. Some varieties need frequent watering, while others can tolerate drought-like conditions once established. Additionally, some species require more maintenance than others, which may not be suitable for all gardeners’ lifestyles.

Pros Cons
Low Maintenance Can be invasive
Tolerates Drought Slow Growth Rate
Attractive Foliage Poor Soil Tolerance

Remember that choosing the right ground cover plants for your garden will depend on various factors such as soil type, sun exposure, water requirements, and maintenance level. By taking these into consideration, you’ll be able to create a healthy and thriving ecosystem in your backyard that suits both your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. As you plan out which plants to include in your garden layout, keep in mind how they will complement each other and contribute to the overall look and feel of the space.

Plan Your Garden Layout

When planning out your garden, consider the layout and how it can maximize the space available while still providing enough room for each plant to thrive. One important factor to keep in mind is the spacing options that different ground cover plants require. Some plants need more space between them, while others can be planted closer together. This will depend on the size of the mature plant and how much it spreads.

Another consideration when planning your garden layout is soil requirements. Different ground cover plants have varying needs when it comes to soil type and pH levels. Make sure you choose plants that are compatible with the soil conditions in your garden. If you’re unsure about what type of soil you have, a simple pH test kit from a gardening center can help you determine this.

Once you’ve planned out your garden layout and chosen the best ground cover plants for your space based on their spacing and soil requirements, it’s important to know how to care for them properly. This includes regular watering, fertilizing as needed, pruning back any overgrowth, and keeping an eye out for pests or diseases that could harm your plants. With proper care, your ground cover will create a beautiful carpet of greenery that will enhance any landscape design!

Care for Your Ground Cover Plants

Maintaining a healthy and vibrant ground cover will make your garden come to life, ensuring that it remains a beautiful oasis for years to come.

One of the most important aspects of caring for your ground cover plants is pruning. Proper pruning techniques can help keep your plants looking neat and tidy, while also promoting healthy growth. When pruning, be sure to remove any dead or diseased branches, as well as any branches that are crossing over each other.

Another crucial aspect of caring for your ground cover plants is watering. While some varieties may require more water than others, it’s important not to overwater them. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues that can damage or even kill your plants. To determine how often you should water your ground cover plants, check the soil regularly and only water when it feels dry to the touch.

In addition to pruning and watering, there are a few other things you can do to care for your ground cover plants. For example, you may want to fertilize them from time to time with a balanced fertilizer designed specifically for ground covers. You should also be on the lookout for pests and diseases that could potentially harm your plants.

By taking good care of your ground cover plants in these ways, you’ll be able to enjoy their beauty and benefits in your garden for years to come!


Congratulations! You now have all the knowledge you need to choose the best ground cover plants for your garden. By carefully considering your garden’s needs and researching different types of plants, you can find the perfect match that will thrive in your unique environment.

Did you know that, according to a recent study by the National Gardening Association, using ground cover plants can reduce erosion by up to 90%? Not only do they add beauty to your landscape, but they also serve an important function in protecting soil and preventing runoff.

So, go ahead and plan out your garden layout, choosing the right combination of ground covers that will provide texture, color, and functionality. And remember to care for them properly by providing adequate water and sunlight.

With these tips in mind, you’ll have a lush and healthy garden that will be the envy of all your neighbors!